In a rare New Year’s Day morning vote, the Senate passed an emergency measure to avert the so-called Fiscal Cliff — the automatic combination of tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect at midnight this morning, with devastating effects to the economy.
Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell brokered the deal, which passed 89 to 8.
The House has yet to vote on the measure.
Here’s the upshot: The deal stops the automatic income tax hikes set to take effect for middle class Americans, targeting increases only for households making $450,000-plus and individuals making $400,000-plus.
However, it fails to address the automatic massive spending cuts to social and military programs — instead delaying that discussion, buying Congress some time and setting up another Fiscal Cliff for March 1, 2013.
Here’s the full text of the 157-page American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012: